Since the start of January I have embarked on my specific MDS training proper. My plan, which was set by Rory Coleman back in November sees a massive ramp up in mileage and intensity for me, so the last few weeks have been tough going. The first week was tough and I think after the xmas and new year indulgences my body didnt really know what had hit it the first few days!
My plan basically means that I am training every day of the week, running 5 times a week and weight training for the other 2 days, so at the moment it is go go go every day with no real rest. I am operating on a 3 tougher weeks then a slightly easier week to avoid burnout and injury. My workouts have looked a little like this for the past week:
Mon – Weights session (legs, core and upper body
Tues – Spartans speed session (track 9 miles on avg)
Weds – Half Marathon (8 miles at lunch and the rest in the evening
Thurs – Spartans Hill session (avg 9 miles)
Fri – Weights session (Core and upper body)
Sat – Long run one (17 miles – cliff paths)
Sun – Long run two (17 miles – road)
As you can imagine it has been pretty intense, but I have been loving the training and the challenge of pushing myself. The track nights have helped and I have also been doing some of the longer runs with friends such as Phil Taylor and Lee De St Croix so the craic has been good..
One of the biggest things I have been contending with is recovery. As I am training every day, I have been trying to ensure that as soon as one session ends, my recovery for the next one begins. This has meant stretching thoroughly, taking in food/recovery shake within 45 minutes of session end and foam rollering the hell out of every part of my body. This strategy has been working out well and so far I have been coping well with the higher intensity track sessions, and then recovering well enough for the long runs at the weekend. I think this for me is one of the biggest considerations for the MDS as the main challenge (apart from the heat!!!) is getting up and running after having run a large distance the previous day and doing this for six days. This weekend is a big one for me I will be running 19 miles on Sat, 19 mile on Sun and then 19 miles on Monday so should be a big test. I will be employing all that I have learnt about recovery and hoping I get through it well!
After the big miles this weekend I have a relatively easy week of training next week followed by the Southern Cross Country championships next Saturday in London. Its a 15km course and I along with 16 others will be representing Jersey Spartans in the race. Should be a good event, apparently its 800 people storming up a hill at the beginning so should be quite the atmosphere! Check this vid to get an idea:
After this the following weekend (First weekend in February) I have signed up for the XNRG Extreme Energy Pilgrims Challenge – a 2 day ultra marathon on the North Downs in England. Day one is 33 miles, we sleep over night in a school hall, then 33 miles back to the start the following day! Alot of people taking part in the MDS will be taking part in this also, so I hope to make contact with a few over the two days. This should be another great test and upon successful completion I would hope it would indicate the training is heading in the right direction.
So in-between training, entering other races and working, I have been slowly picking my way through all the decisions that have to be made as far as the equipment I need to take, the food I need to eat, the clothes I need to wear and the shoes I need to wear in the desert. I never contemplated how complex this part of the planning would be, with a lot of advice being bandied around – a lot of it conflicting! I am 85% of the way there with a lot of the decisions although I imagine I may U-turn on a few of these before April.. I can imagine I will be selling a lot of surplus equipment on Ebay so watch this space for a bargain 🙂
I will be running in aid of Jersey Hospice care and in memory of my friend Natalie Moss – if you would like to donate please visit my just giving page here
Snow forecast this weekend here in sunny Jersey which should prove to be interesting for the weekends running!
More to follow as and when it happens!